All humans possess two hundred and six bones, forty-six chromosomes, a heart with two chambers and the ability to breath; so why judge others as inferior when on the inside we are the same? Why must homosexuals struggle to gain equality in society? Decades ago, a closed society shunned Hispanics, blacks, Jews and homosexuals. Overtime, all of these groups, except homosexuals found a spot within “the circle of we.” Fortunately, the media provided a positive image of the LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) opening the minds and eyes of viewers. Stereotypes diminished and using the word “pervert” comes to be viewed as politically incorrect. When Reality TV clarified the similarities between the gay community and the rest of society, gays and lesbians traveled from an abhorred status to general acceptance and inclusion. Reality TV assisted Americans to include the LGBT community in the circle. Now the arc of justice must continue to bend and help this community feel comprised in all aspects of society and be equal to all Americans under the law.
The idea of homosexuality as “abnormal” and unacceptable relates back hundreds of years. In 1260, the famous professor Thomas Aquinas condemned homosexuality as against the laws of nature. His treatise, the basis for the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, banned homosexuals and deprived them of rights. As late as 1953, in America, the Eisenhower Administration made it clear that any federal or state employee known as a homosexual would lose his job. Society embraced stereotypes of the gay community and labeled them “child-molesters” and “sex-crazed maniacs.” Just like Hitler’s idea about Jews, homosexual’s society developed a negative image of these groups and it stuck. Overtime, the anti-gay mood of our country started to change, and by 1973, though still shocking, the first gay man came-out on Reality TV. This helped the country see “being gay was only one finger out of 10, but not a be-all and end-all.” Lance Loud, on the P.B.S. documentary, “An American Family,” forced people to realize that gay people possessed the same problems, desires and dreams of every other American. Mr.Loud’s “frank portrayals of homosexuality” shocked the media, but “the American public loved him, he was viewed as a hero to young people, both gay and straight”(Lueck). Lance created a new type of hero, one willing to love on the edge in spite of society’s negative views and daring to be truthful about his sexuality. The start of Reality T.V. battled through the time of unjust stereotypes. The 1970’s, in some ways continued the rebellion of the 60’s. It defined the time when women, African Americans, gays and lesbians fought for equal rights. Although Lance Loud did not wish to play the role as spokesman for the more militant gays, they hoisted him as their poster-boy. He appeared on television talk shows with Dick Cavett and Phil Donahue; the exposure of an openly gay man on T.V. broadened people’s views of gays. Suddenly people who never met an openly gay individual “spent time” in his home with him and his family and friends. The famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead, insisted the Loud, PBS, series provided an “important a moment in the history of a human thought as the invention of the novel.” Mead observed that “An American Family” did not fall under the documentary genre and needed a new category. This new genre became known as Reality T.V.
The first Reality TV shoe enlarged the problems of the “traditional” American family. Reality TV intrigued the American audience so the notion of family expanded, and viewers related to other struggling Americans. As a result, the exposure of Reality TV shaped a path way to a more accepting and positive future for many gays. The 1991 Reality show, The Real World, cast people from different backgrounds, beliefs, and values attempting to expose individuals to the different “cultures” of society. Every season the show cast